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The end of the beginning? Priorities, performance and politics in Tanzania

Seven out of ten citizens (71%) approve of the performance of President Magufuli since taking office. This is down from 96% in June 2016. Approval ratings for the President vary between groups.

  • 68% of those under age 30 approve of the President compared to 82% of those over 50
  • 75% of citizens with no education or some primary approve of the President compared to 63% of those with secondary education or higher
  • And approval is slightly higher among poorer citizens (75%) than among the richest (66%).

Approval ratings for other political leaders have also fallen over the same period.

  • MPs: 58% approval rating (April 2017) compared to 68% (June 2016)
  • Councilors: 59% approval rating (April 2017) compared to 74% (June 2016)
  • Village / street chair-people: 66% approval rating (April 2017) compared to 78% (June 2016)

These findings were released by Twaweza in a research brief titled The end of the beginning? Priorities, performance and politics in Tanzania. The brief is based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone survey. The findings are based on data collected from 1,805 respondents across Mainland Tanzania (Zanzibar is not covered in these results) in April 2017.

Support for political parties paints a mixed picture. Support for CCM has remained steady, ranging between 54% and 65% between 2012 and 2017. After a slump in 2013 and 2014 during which the party’s approval rating fell to 54% (2013 and 2014) from 65% (2012), support has remained consistent since the election at 62% in 2015 and 63% in 2017. Support for Chadema, however, has seen declined to 17% in 2017 since it peaked at 32% in 2013.

Support for CCM is highest among older people (80%), compared to 55% among younger citizens. It is also higher among women (68%) than men (58%), in rural areas (66%) than urban areas (57%), among poorer citizens (69%) than among the relatively rich (53%). Fewer  than half (46%) of those with secondary, technical or higher education support CCM. Support for Chadema generally follows the opposite pattern, higher among the young, men, the relatively wealthy and those with more education.

Over the past two years, however, citizens’ priorities have shifted substantially. In 2015, 34% of citizens cited poverty or economic challenges as one of their top three priority areas for the country compared to 60% mentioning this in 2017. Even more notable, in 2015 fewer than one in ten citizens (9%) mentioned food shortages or famine as a priority issue compared to 57% in 2017.

During the same period, citizens’ concerns about public services and corruption appear to have diminished.

Percentages of citizens citing the following issues as among the top three challenges for the country:

  • Health: 40% in 2017 compared to 59% in 2015
  • Education: 22% in 2017 compared to 44% in 2015
  • Infrastructure: 21% in 2017 compared to 32% in 2015
  • Water supply: 19% in 2017 compared to 46% in 2015
  • Corruption: 10% in 2017 compared to 28% in 2015

Read more: governance Sauti za Wananchi Twaweza

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Organizations: Twaweza East Africa

Pages: 12

Type: Policy brief

Year: 2017

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